I’m now half way through the 31 Day Creativity Challenge. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
1. It Gets Easier
I started with some ideas I wanted to express. But then I realized I didn’t have anything else to say. Nothing. I felt empty. It was hard to sit down and wait for ideas to emerge. What if nothing happened? I wasn’t going to sit here and produce nothing, was I?
But I showed up to create anyway. I reminded myself that the challenge was not to create something great, it was just to create something. I decided to schedule my appointment with the judge for sometime in February, and just keep creating stuff.
After a few days of working this muscle it got easier. I learned that I’m never starting with nothing. I get to chose what stimulus and limits I’ll entertain, and follow my instincts from there.
2. The Fear of Publishing is the Beginning of Writer’s Block
It’s one thing to write in your journal every day. It’s another thing to publish your journal entries as you write them. This challenge was all about getting over the fear of judgement and showing the world the messy draft, complete with the wrong notes, the smudge marks, and the misplaced modifiers.
After a few days of seeing my first drafts on the Internet, it wasn’t so bad. In fact, I started to take pride in fact that some of my mistakes were made in the service of a courageous artistic direction. I actually liked where some of the wrong notes could take me with a little more development. I would have never found those places by playing it safe.
3. Creativity Is Contagious
Once I made the commitment to be creative every day, I was surprised to learn how willing other people were to jump in with me. Not only do we have over 25 people publishing every day, I even found willing collaborators (Benjamin, TJ, Spencer).
4. Well Being
I knew that creativity was good for the soul, but I was surprised at how much life and energy has come from just 30 minutes of creativity a day. I feel better about my life, I’m more relaxed, I’m less anxious, and I feel like I have a full well of goodness to offer when interacting with friends, clients, and co-workers.
This sentiment was echoed by a friend who is also in the challenge. She reported that even though she was getting less sleep, she was feeling more energetic. Creativity is life. We were made to make things.
So many lessons are coming from this challenge. More reflections to come. For now, I’m going back to the piano.